Sept. 14, 2013
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CINCINNATI - Brendon Kay was sharp in his return as Cincinnati's starting quarterback on Saturday night, matching his career high with four touchdown passes in a 66-9 victory over Northwestern State.
The sixth-year senior lost the starting job to Munchie Legaux after a sore passing shoulder limited him during camp and the opening week of the season. The Bearcats (2-1) beat Purdue and lost at Illinois, where Legaux tore ligaments in his left knee.
The Bearcats didn't know whether Kay would be rusty in his return. He eased any concerns for coach Tommy Tuberville's staff by completing 11 consecutive passes following and incomplete throw in his first attempt of the game. The Marine City, Mich. native is the first UC player to accomplish that feat since Zach Collaros also completed 11 straight versus Connecticut in Nov. 2010.
Kay finished 12 of 14 for 277 yards with four touchdowns, matching his total from the 48-34 Belk Bowl win over Duke last season.
Cincinnati started slow on the offensive side of the ball by going three-and-out in their first series, but after that possession, the Bearcats scored a touchdown on their next five drives, which gave them a 35-9 lead at halftime.
UC's first score came after a pair of big plays from Ralph David Abernathy IV (26-yard rush) and Jared Golden (32-yard reception). Kay capped off a six play, 68-yard drive with a 15-yard fade pass to Chris Moore.
Junior transfer Hosey Williams gave the Bearcats a 14-0 lead as he pounded in a one-yard run for his first career touchdown. Williams' score was setup by a 49-yard reception by Blake Annen, which is the longest of his career.
Williams carried the ball 11 times for 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns, helping Cincinnati pile up 669 yards overall. The yardage total is the most for the Bearcats since putting up 661 versus Rutgers in Nov. 2010.
Early in the second quarter, Kay gave UC a 21-0 lead as he scrambled in the pocket and found sophomore transfer Mekale McKay for a 40-yard touchdown pass.
With a safe 21-point lead, Tuberville sent in redshirt freshman Bennie Coney the following series. Coney directed the Bearcats' offense down the field for a 75-yard touchdown drive, which featured eight running plays and was capped off by a Tion Green three-yard touchdown run.
Kay came back in for the final series of the first half, which resulted in a touchdown pass to Chris Moore, and the first series of the second half, which ended with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Max Morrison.
Coney took the reigns after Cincinnati took a 42-9 lead and went 3 of 3 for 60 yards with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Shakim Alonzo.
The Bearcats added a Tony Miliano 30-yard field goal and two more touchdowns to defeat Northwestern State, 66-9.
Cincinnati has two more weeks before starting play in the American Athletic Conference. The Bearcats visit Miami of Ohio next Saturday, then have a bye before opening conference play at South Florida.